Saturday, 31 July 2010

Up, Up & Away.....

Yesterday was The Boy's 41st Birthday - last year was meant to be the big one.  We had planned to go to New York and he mentioned that he would like to go in a hot air ballooon; unfortunately redundancy (his) and lack of work (mine) meant that we didn't have the pennies to stretch to it.  But this year good fortune (my lovely employer and my boss's decision to have a meeting in New York) and good timing (Virgin Balloons having room on a flight on his birthday) this years it's all coming to plan.....

We're off to NYC in September so more of that later but for now it's all about the Balloon flight.

After a nightmare journey from hell home on Thursday night (including parking on the M1 for nearly 3 hours at 11pm) and after 2.5 hours sleep I woke up The Boy just after 4am and gently told him we had to leave in an hour.....

We left at 5.15am, coffee flasks in hand, bacon butties wrapped in foil, and set off for Ripley Castle.  It was a quiet, still morning - not bright sunshine but clearing and misty in places.  We arrived at Ripley Castle (just North of Harrogate) and helped to inflate the balloon



The rise up was so smooth, and we were soon up and off 



it wasn't a very windy so we didn't travel very far butwere traveling at about 12 miles per hour and at one point were up at 3,600 ft above sea level.  You could see far and wide but my favourite bit was the clouds reflected in the lake.  Here's some pretty pictures:












Saturday, 24 July 2010

Step monster

I'm a step monster, but an estranged one.  I shan't bore you with the details but it got too difficult to see then or have  a relationship just over 4 years ago.  In September this year they will be 14 and 12..wowzers.

About a month ago oldest stepson found me via facebook and added me as a friend - not sure what his motive is - or even if he has one but wow.

We've been intouch about 1x per week since then just a quick email chat but its all very strange.  very very strange.....

The boy is ignoring this in case it comes to nothing - too painful a box to reopen I guess.

Friday, 23 July 2010

Drum Roll Please........

Ta da we raised £340 from out bake sale and in even better news lovely employer has agreed to match so that's £680 raised for Marie Curie Cancer Care...Hip Hip Hooray.

Monday, 19 July 2010

Bloomin Marvelous


At work today we held a bake sale in aid of the Marie Curie Cancer charity.  We took their Blooming Great Tea Party and adapted it to fit our working arrangements.

So Monday morning bright and early the HR team arrived armed with tupperware a plenty and all sorts of cakes, we had massive cream cakes:



Plenty of cupcakes/fairy cakes:



And some more heathly alternatives in a fruit slice and banana breakfast loaf (which was scrummy I donated and tested this one just to be sure):



By 11.30am we had raised just short of £300 thanks to the generosity of my colleagues here at work.

We set up an honestly table in the corner of the office restuarant for the rest of the day and will add up the total raised at the end of the day:


I am so pleased with the results today - the excellent baking skills of the HR team, all of them giving up their time and donating cakes for sale.  Particular thanks to Caroline (pictured with me at the top) who did all the organisation for the day and did all the posters and advertising - now for the clearing up....

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Step 1

We're back from holiday and my organising and sorting has begun.  First the oven - it needs a good clean so I was up early this morning with the Mr Muscle and the lakeland oven cleaning gel stuff and on my knees.

Some very very stubborn burnt on stuff but it's getting there that's for sure.

We will have lived here 8 years next week - blimey.  Need to decorate the bedroom this summer, we redid downstairs this year and last (did the Kitchen over May bank holiday weekend I think it was) but other than the bathroom haven't done the bedroom since we moved in (we did it before we moved in - did the whole house whilst it was still empty the week before we moved in).  Since then we have decorated the bathroom 4 times - it's a lovely deep red at the moment which sounds wrong but works well.

I'm going to get all the 'stuff' sorted first them decorate - light and airy bedroom I think, but not sure what?  Nay ideas?  Any good blogs to get ideas from?

Nearly time to go clean the gunk out of the over before spending the afternoon baking for out Blooming Great Team Party in aid of Marie Curie Cancer at work tomorrow.   Victoria Sponge anyone?

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

Sunshine, Blue Sky, Sunflowers:





All taken on the road from Seicq to Neuvic Le Chateau in Charente, France.

Monday, 5 July 2010

Decisions decisions

I have had a lot of head space this week, getting up early each morning doing 30 mins of yoga self practice whilst the boy is out for a run then 30 mins on the work blackberry to keep things ticking over whilst I am away.

The rest of my time has been spent reading, relaxing and generally doing nothing.  I have reached the state of relaxation where I am open to the fresh possibilities that holidays bring.

I have made some decisions, not all that I am ready to share yet and not all life changing or earth shattering - some very simple that I just needed the clarity of space and time to reach.

When I get home I am going to declutter our house, again, we have a lot of stuff and almost every surface is covered with stuff - not necessarily memories or keepsakes but often just stuff.  Post that has not been fileds, necklaces removed and then never put away, gig tickets waiting to be put in frames and put up, old CDs gathering dusts, empty candle sticks, that habitat show horn from a few years ago, unwatched DVDs.  Stuff collected over years and just placed, without thought or reason.  I have room in storage if I don't want to throw, recycle or pass on but the clutter must end.  I don't have time for it.

I'm going to do the same with my shoes and clothes, if they aren't being worn even if they are 'in season' they are going into storage - better planning better organisation, I need space.

My home office isn't being let off either - work that has been untouched for more than 18 months is going into storage - it should probably be shredded but you never know........   That colour printer and those cartridges that I got for a bargain but have never been able to synch with our Macs is going on ebay or to charity - it works just only with PCs and with someone who is clever enough to network it - ie not us.

The box of stuff which contains the manuals for everything in the house and the spare parts that came with each machine is either going in the loft, garage or to the storage.  We never use it - or look in it.

Finally the book shelves in there filled with old work and work related books are being cleared out.  I want my work space back - with space.  And if it works out the way I plan with a sewing table and space to store my materials etc.

That's it for now - not life altering or major but cleansing and positive.  The rest will come when the plans are fully formed but for now I will continue to enjoy the luxury of time and space to think.

En vacances

I am on holiday in French France at my parents house.  The trip so far has mostly consisted of reading, eating, drinking and relaxing.




Not  a bad life.

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